(Toronto, ON) … The Rochester Americans (21-9-2-2) fought their way back from a 2-0 first-period deficit, but a three-goal run by the Toronto Marlies (19 -11-2-1) during the final frame proved to be the difference as the Amerks came out on the short end of a 5-2 loss to close out their four-game road swing Saturday afternoon at Coca-Cola Coliseum.
It was Rochester’s first trip back to Toronto since Game 3 of the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Despite loss, the Amerks are sporting a 16-6-1-1 record over their last 23 games dating back to Nov. 1, earning points in 18 games over that span, and remain atop the AHL’s North Division standings. Additionally, Rochester has picked up points in 23 of the last 31 contests overall, going 19-8-2-2, while also earning 46 out of a possible 68 points through its first 34 contests of the season.
WATCH: GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Casey Mittelstadt (1+0) scored his second goal in as many nights, giving him four points (2+2) over his last five outings. Andrew MacWilliam and Jean-Sebastian Dea each notched an assist on Mittelstadt’s first-period goal. Lawrence Pilut (1+0) picked up his fifth goal of the season, while captain Kevin Porter (0+1) added the lone assist on the marker. Andrew Hammond (10-7-2) stopped 22 of the 27 shots he faced in the crease.
Kalle Kossila (2+1) and Pontus Aberg (1+1) both notched a multi-point effort while scoring over half the Marlies goals on the night. Kenny Agostino (1+0) and Egor Korshkov (1+0) both contributed to the scoresheet with a goal apiece. Kasimir Kaskisuo (11-4-2) made the start in the net for Toronto and made 30 saves on 32 shots that he faced.
Trailing 2-1 heading into the second period, Rochester kept pressing to tie the game before Porter won a face-off back to Pilut midway through the frame. As the Swedish blueliner received the puck, he stepped to the center of the Marlies zone and snapped in his fifth goal of the season with 9:17 remaining to even the contest at 2-2.
Toronto took control in the third, scoring three times in a span of 3:20 to jump out to a 5-2 lead.
The Marlies got on the board twice before the Amerks found their way past Kaskisuo during the first frame. Kossila notched his first of the game at the 12:36 mark before Agostino knocked in his 18th of the season not even three minutes later.
Rochester trimmed the deficit in half in the final minutes of the first when Hammond sent a long stretch pass to Dea from deep in the Amerks zone. As Dea entered the offensive zone, he left a drop pass to MacWilliam, who had his initial offering blocked. Mittelstadt swooped in to pick up the loose puck before flipping in his second goal in as many nights for the Amerks first goal of the contest.
The Amerks are back on home ice for a pair of North Division matchups beginning this Wednesday, Jan. 8 as they take on the Binghamton Devils before hosting a return visit from the Belleville Senators on Friday, Jan. 10. Both contests will be carried live on The Sports Leader AM 950/95.7 FM ESPN Rochester as well as AHLTV.
ROC: C. Mittelstadt (2), L. Pilut (5)
TOR: K. Kossila (2, 3 – GWG), K. Agostino (18), P. Aberg (13), E. Korshkov (9)
ROC: A. Hammond – 22/27 (L)
TOR: K. Kaskisuo – 30/32 (W)
ROC: PP (0/0) | PK (1/1)
TOR: PP (0/1) | PK (0/0)
1. P. Aberg (TOR)
2. K. Kossila (TOR)
3. J. Lindgren (TOR)